Written in 2004, the following article, written by Ephraim Frank, posted on Etz B’ney Yosef, stands as a solemn warning that the plans to rebuild will not go unhindered. As it was in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, we, too, must hold our swords in one hand and our trowels in the other as we work together to protect the infant that was born in Tampa on March 6 and rebuild the northern kingdom of the House of Israel. “And our adversaries said, ‘They will neither know nor see anything, till we come into their midst and kill them and cause the work to cease’” (Nehemiah 4:11). The Sanballot attitude of being “deeply disturbed” over the king’s plan to allow the restoration of Jerusalem is as prevalent today as it was in the days of Nehemiah. Now it makes sense why, after I repented of my sins in 1998 and began to hungrily read my Bible, it was the Book of Nehemiah that over and over drew my attention.
This week, in between the stories of Esau selling his birthright and Rebekah convincing Jacob to deceive Isaac into believing he is the elder son, we find a sidebar that seems strangely out of place.
Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines. And the LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you.
Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands.